Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma blamed the mistakes in party manifesto for poor show in the Lok Sabha polls. Congress poll manifesto promised to repeal Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act and sedition law. “The very mention of three things, the repeal of sedition law, or of AFSPA, that was distorted to the hilt and misrepresented... I can’t blame, this was a bitterly fought election and they (BJP) did it,” Sharma told HTN Tiranga TV. The Congress manifesto had invited a sharp attack from BJP.
Agreeing to the difference in party, Sharma said, “Yes, there is a crisis (in the party) because we were not expecting such a big defeat… This marked uncertainty is not good for the party and we must honestly move forward.”
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On Thursday, Congress president Rahul Gandhi stuck to his decision to resign as party chief, saying he did it to ensure accountability for the party’s Lok Sabha poll debacle and there was no question of going back on it. He made the comments during a meeting with leaders from Haryana state coordination committee who urged him to continue to lead the party and take back his resignation.
“I have resigned after taking full responsibility and ensuring accountability for the party’s defeat in the Lok Sabha elections. I cannot ask others to resign too. It is up to them if they want to take responsibility,” he told the leaders.
He added there was no question of going back on his decision.
Asked about the party’s strategy for upcoming assembly elections, Gandhi plainly told the leaders to discuss it among themselves, leaving the state unit in the lurch.
The leaders later said they spoke to Gandhi separately and hoped the party would take a decision on the state leadership soon. Haryana goes to polls later this year.
Those present during the meeting, which remained inconclusive, were Congress general secretary in-charge Ghulam Nabi Azad, former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and Tanwar.
Haryana CLP leader Kiran Choudhry, party MLA and chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala and Kuldeep Bishnoi were among the prominent absentees at the meeting.